This chapter deals with Harlan’s switch from fast-paced comedies to high-minded, brooding art films. Maria, die Magd (Maria, the maid, 1936) is both a showcase for his wife Hilde Körber, who has never acted in a film before, and an exploitation of her intense humorlessness that borders on hysteria. It also features a future Harlan trademark, a rescue operation at night on a lake, something Harlan himself experienced as a child. As expected, it is more an artistic than a commercial success, but it brings Harlan to the attention of two internationally famous stars, silent-screen legends Lil Dagover and Emil Jannings. Dagover, who enjoys a measure of independence as a producer-actress, chooses Harlan to direct an adaptation a Leo Tolstoy’s novel, Die Kreutzersonate (The Kreutzer Sonata, 1937), which despite its unremitting bleakness turns out to be a popular success and is distributed by UFA, Germany’s most prestigious film company.
Kentucky Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.